Episode 007: Spiritual Parenting

Episode 007 – SPIRITUAL PARENTING

 

 Show Notes

What you have now is millennials who really want to be involved in their children’s lives, but are ill-equipped because many of them weren’t parented spiritually themselves…

 

Churches need to give millennials practical resources that are not antiquated… We need to give them meaningful ways to find community… and we need to give them paths for mentorship…

 

I can’t tell you how many young moms and dads are asking me for mentors… for couples in their 40s and 50s who can help them…

 

Children’s ministry typically means a “program”; it tends to have a “child-centric” approach… in a family ministry we see the child as a byproduct of the family they are raised in… we want to look at the child in context…

 

When we start dealing with the broader issues and bring restoration and health to those, we bring greater ministry to that child than we could have during one hour per week…

 

We have to repackage how we message about the need for involvement in children’s ministry… inviting people into a journey is more compelling…

 

For senior leadership, we need to further the message of that journey and then make the call for people to participate in the raising of the next generation…

 

In Western society, we’ve become so individualistic that we only think about our own families and not our greater participation in the family of God…

 

To the empty-nesters: you are the most prepared you will ever be to serve in local children’s ministry, and lots of you are just sitting on the sidelines… we need to challenge them to re-engage in the life of the local church…

 

Questions for you and your team

1) How well is your church doing at equipping parents to minister to their children?

2) How would your ministry look if you began to shift from a child-centric to a family-centric approach?

3) What can you do to begin to create situations where organic mentorship can take place?

4) How well are you and your team doing at positioning children’s ministry participation as an invitation to be part of a compelling spiritual journey?

 

RESOURCES

Spiritual Parenting: An Awakening for Today’s Families by Michelle Anthony

Pursuing God’s Will Together by Ruth Haley Barton

Also, be sure to join us next year for The Gathering, a unique, 3 day event designed for you and your family ministries team!

Episode 006: To The Table

Episode 006- To The Table

 

SHOW NOTES

The Table for me was the end of a long journey to discover the roots of my faith… I wanted to give my kids more of the faith than I had when I was their age…

Tradition is a troubling word for charismatics…but when I began to talk about historical rootedness and the many reasons for coming back to the Table, the eyes of our church were opened and we found ourselves embracing it…

The beautiful thing about the Lord’s Table is that it is a promise of an encounter with the risen Christ that does not depend on an individual…

Frequency does not mean a loss of intimacy; in fact, intimacy requires frequency…

It should be easier for charismatics to come to the Table with faith and expectation, but people are nervous about superstition… part of the way we got around that was that we said “We’re not going to make statements about HOW God meets us [at the Table]; we just know THAT he does…”

Past, present, and future come together for us at the Table… it is a place of proclamation, that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again!

One pushback I got from the congregation was “Where is the altar call?” What I’ve discovered is that this leads to better altar calls… I tell pastor friends that we have the biggest altar calls we’ve ever had, because we have people confess sins and receive forgiveness… we have thousands of people answering the altar call every Sunday… and so when I call for salvation and healing, their hearts are already tender…

We didn’t have to give up our evangelistic fervor to do Communion…

This has profoundly changed my preaching for the better… no matter what we’re tackling, I have to end with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus…

Our church has grown and increased and has seen disciple-shaping go to a deeper level since we’ve done this… if you’ll do this wisely with a lot of explanation, inviting people in, they will follow you…

Millennials are more fascinated with historical rootedness than we think… the under-30 crowd are living in a world now where nothing makes sense… they’re looking for something that has stood the test of time…


Questions for you and your team

1) Do your worship services demonstrate a sense of historical rootedness? Why or why not?
2) Pastor Glenn mentioned that Communion embodies a sense of “remembrance”, “encounter”, and “hope”. Which do you feel your services emphasize the most? How could communion reshape those services?
3) How do you think taking weekly Communion would change your worship and preaching?
4) What practical steps can you take to begin moving in that direction?

Recommended Resources
The Meal Jesus Gave Us, by N. T. Wright
Discover the Mystery of Faith, by Glenn Packiam

Episode 005: Cultivating a Team-Teaching Model, Pt. 2

Episode 005 – Cultivating a Team-Teaching Model, Pt. 2

 

Show Notes

The risk [of doing this] is not being needed any more… the reward is seeing someone run ahead and thrive…

Every one of us is an “interim pastor”… the church will outlast all of us… therefore, I have a choice: to preach and lead [by myself] or begin sharing some of the responsibility…

I realized that when I announced this, the church might actually like one of these guys more… but it’s ridiculous to think about it that way… we need to model something more beautiful than what the world models… if you don’t have joy in watching people thrive, you’ll never have people around you who do thrive…

The stage can’t be any of our identities… the stage and the pulpit are our privilege, but not our identity… and too many senior pastors get their identities from the pulpit…

This model starts with the senior pastor realizing that he has to share the responsibility… [and that requires] that we find our identities in the right things…

[When we made this switch] people were disappointed… they like me, I’m their pastor… we had to manage that, we had to walk alongside people… [but the result will be] that I’ll hang around here longer, with more energy and vision than if we stay at this current pace…

[This] is a way of reinforcing to people that we need one another… when you see from the pulpit not only weakness but also the strength that comes from others, it gives people permission to ask for help in their own lives…

A “man of God” syndrome has permeated the American church… I’m not sure that that’s biblical, and I’m certainly sure it’s not healthy…

The people who are most prone to learning, reading, and listening tend to make the best preachers… there’s a natural call, a genuine passion, and they are willing to work at it…

For young preachers and teachers: are you willing to do the hard work? The 10,000 hour rule is in effect… you have to preach a lot of sermons…

Say yes to every chance you get to speak and discern what happens…

The worst person to give the pulpit to is someone who ONLY wants the pulpit…

Questions for you and your team:
1) What are the risks for you and your church in moving towards a team-teaching model?
2) Do you have a culture that allows others to thrive?
3) What concrete steps can you take to starting moving this direction?

Special Episode: Welcoming the Stranger: A Conversation on DACA

“Welcoming the Stranger: A Conversation on DACA”

 

Show Notes

This is important because I’m the pastor of a lot of DACA kids… this is not a political point to me… these are real people that we know… they are human beings with real stories…

Often times when these public issues get discussed, we’re tempted to say we need less emotion and more reason… but emotions are an important key in understanding where people are coming from…

When someone exhibits a lot of emotion over something, it shows that it is something they are very concerned about… which makes it an opportunity for empathy…

[As an immigrant], there is a feeling of fear that is hard to shake… there is a sense of vulnerability here even when you do this the right way…

We believe in safe borders and in the rule of law… I believe in safe, legal immigration because its best for human beings… we need to figure out a way to make immigration safe and legal…

The story of the people of God is a story of immigration… to be the people of God is to be waiting for home… there is a very real theological dimension of this… if we can’t feel that human desire [for home], then I need to check my heart…

“So you love the poor? Then tell me what their names are…” this needs to be able to be named… it needs to be situated in the lives of people…

Christians have a unique ability to be empathetic to those who have been displaced because of the story of our Scriptures…

We need to be a prophetic voice to the political system… I’m calling on Congress and on our President and on our state and local officials to make sure this legislation is done well… we need to let the morality of Jesus to overrule political divisiveness…

There’s a price to pay [as a pastor] for this… anytime I bring up immigration from the pulpit, I get scathing rebukes from people because it has become so politicized…

If a pastor will get up and be compassionate and really welcome diverse viewpoints, you’ll see there are truths in all of the camps…

For me, this cannot be some theoretical discussion… pastors, whatever you do, just get to know these people… we need to be compassionate and help them win…

The kingship of Jesus Christ shapes everything… we don’t want to answer these issues through the prism of our politics… we want to let the surprising and shocking kingdom of God confront us and challenge us and cause us to rethink our positions…

Practically, you can get involved in this… there are immigration attorneys that are willing to do pro bono work… we want to help families go through a legal process… they just need someone to walk alongside them…

If we don’t know their names, we have failed the people in our church…

Resources

Evangelical Immigration Table
Christian Community Development Association

Episode 004: Cultivating a Team-Teaching Model, Pt. 1

What does it look like to share the pulpit and teach the scriptures as a team? Are you considering it for your church, but don’t know how to begin? In the episode, Pastors Brady Boyd, Andrew Arndt, Glenn Packiam, and Daniel Grothe talk about how and why New Life Church embraced the Team Teaching model.

 

EPISODE 004 – Cultivating a Team-Teaching Model Pt 1 – Show Notes

I think the local church is always meant to be led by a symphony of voices…

For me, as a senior pastor, I realized that from a physical standpoint I couldn’t keep doing at 50 what I did when I was 30… that was the pragmatic reason… but theologically, I wanted a symphony of voices at our church…

You can naturally reach people ten years older and younger than you… if we’re going to lead a multi-generational congregation, then we need to have voices that naturally reach certain elements of our congregation…

One of the things that’s been interesting is that we’ve heard from a lot of pastors around the country who are dying to do this… it gives us a chance admit that we need help… it gives our congregation a chance to admit that they need help in their own lives…

Doing it this way cuts down on all our study time… but we have to follow some rules if we’re going to make this work… we have to be able to defend it with each other… we don’t have to use any of each other’s stuff… but if we DO use each other’s stuff, we can’t grasp for credit…

We’re creating a situation with this where you have to lay ego aside… it’s created a collaborative ethos… the congregation can feel that we love each other and love working with each other…

The goal here is not for us to sound the same… the goal is not to be homogeneous but to be in unity… which means that we give each other permission to be different, to be ourselves…

Relationship leads to trust… you can’t hire this… it’s something that has to be invested in… but even with these things, there is inherent risk… are you willing to risk it?

Once you do this, the weight of preaching that is draining the life out of some of you, it will make pastoral ministry really joyful and really fun…

Some of my favorite times of the week are when we sit together on Tuesday mornings and talk through the upcoming sermon… we’re all circling the same big idea but we’re seeing it from a different viewpoint…

The biggest thing for getting started is to get people in the room with you to help you study… bringing a diverse set of voices will help you study better…

Questions for you and your team

1) To what extent does your church reflect a “symphony of voices”?
2) What would change at your church if you adopted this model?
3) What would change in your own work for the church if you adopted this model?
4) What can you do to begin moving in this direction?

Episode 000: Welcome

Welcome to the Essential Church Podcast. As we prepare for releasing our first episodes on Wednesday, we want to encourage you to connect with us on twitter at @EssentialChurch.